Thanks to this group, 2022 was the year in which I discovered Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim, otherwise known as the Thursday Murder Club. The Club has a few other members. Donna and Chris, sometimes Bogdan, and even Alan. And I cannot read about their adventures quickly enough. Why aren’t there 90 books about these people?
For the very few who do not know, the Thursday Murder Club is a group of seniors who live in a retirement community and review unsolved murder cases in their spare time. They have Chris and Donna — a few local police officers who begrudgingly (and really, they are kidding themselves if they don’t say they enjoy it) — and Bogdan, who gets things done in ways that are in a legally grey area.
Thanks to Elizabeth’s previous (and current?) life in MI5 or MI6 (I can’t keep track), Ibrahim’s previous work as a psychologist, Ron’s former life as a union activist, and Joyce’s understanding of people and baking, the “club” always seems to accomplish what it sets out to do. While they have made many friends along the way, they have made enemies, too, like a local drug dealer and a police captain who thinks maybe he could be a famous author.
They eat cake, drink tea, and share lots and lots of wine. They go on train rides. They dress up and try to hide their identities. They go swimming in skyscrapers. They play chess and hang out with Russian spies. They play matchmaker and hang out with grandchildren. They are a god damned delight.
But not everything is wonderful. Joyce misses her late husband a lot. Elizabeth’s dear husband, Stephen, has dementia and is falling slowly away. Ibrahim has suffered a terrible attack and beating that left him both physically and mentally weakened. And they lose people around them almost every day. They realize that each new day is a blessing at their age, and are truly grabbing life by the proverbial horns.
And lets talk about Chris and Donna and Bogdan for a minute.
I have loved seeing Chris fall in love and slowly but surely change his ways to become a better man. No more candy bars for dinner, he’s trying to figure out what quinoa is.
I always enjoy the little interludes where Bogdan, a man who has done some questionable things but mostly for good reasons, plays chess and spends time with his friend Stephen.
And Donna is the best. She gets exasperated by her friends at the Thursday Murder Club, but still loves them. She’s always questioning some of the decisions she has made in her life that have led her to where she is, but see seems to be doing great, and I want the best for her.
SIDEBAR: have you read any of the Angelique De Xavier books by Christopher Brookmyre? Donna makes me think of Angelique. Those three books (A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away, The Sacred Art of Stealing, A Snowball in Hell) might be my favorite detective books in the world. END SIDEBAR.
This series is like comfort on a page. Richard Osman knows what the people want, and is happily giving it. I have read that Steven Spielberg’s production company bought the rites to this series…I’m not sure if its for a movie or a series, but I have high hopes for it.